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Discussion Starter #1
Please see: A WIND-WIN SCENARIO FOR TEXAS

Boosting the economy

The developments are benefiting the Gulf economy, particularly in rural stretches where jobs and industry are scarce. Duke alone has invested more than $1 billion of build five South Texas wind farms dubbed Los Vientos.

In Willacy County, where the unemployment is above 10 percent, more than double the state average, Duke Energy’s two wind farms have become the largest private investment in this ranching and farming community of about 20,000. Construction on the first two wind farms generated 300 jobs in the area, created new income streams for farmers and ranchers, who lease their land, and generated much needed revenues for local governments and schools.
Proximity a plus

The growth of the Gulf Coast’s wind energy has been aided by advances in turbine and blade technologies, allowing producers to generate electricity at lower wind speeds, said Andrew Dickson, the managing director for business development for Duke’s renewable projects.

Higher turbines and wider rotators have increased the average power that a wind project can produce, making projects profitable in areas where they wouldn’t have generated enough power before, Dickson said.
 

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I live near these wind farms and can say that once built the construction companies and their workers pick up stakes and move on to the next project. There isn't much activity (work) after that for locals. I've also notice new blade designs with a sort of winglet on the tip like you see on newer jets.

These south Texas coastal wind farms are propelled (pun intended) by the nearly constant gulf breezes that are strongest during the day which refutes statements about wind power being mainly at night and thus not much help for peak loads.
 

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Seems like an easy decision to me. Clean energy. Boom. I happen to like the look of them, but my in laws think they should be banned because the farms are "ugly." To each their own..
 

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A renewable power residential contract is about 1c/kWh higher than general mixed contract. Still less than 10c though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Seems like an easy decision to me. Clean energy. Boom. I happen to like the look of them, but my in laws think they should be banned because the farms are "ugly." To each their own..
Playing off your "Farm" quote: While driving through the wind farms in west Texas, they're interspersed throughout the corn and grain fields along with oil pump-jacks. Hmmm... let's see.... which is prettier? An old pump-jack or a gleaming turbine? The farmer is probably collecting royalties from both.

Like you said, "To each their own.."
 

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I was always impressed by this ingenious design. A wind funnel routes the wind down a tapered tube that accelerates the air and forces it through a turbine. Said to be very efficient, doesn't need a tower and the turbine is located at ground level.

http://wonderfulengineering.com/the-wind-turbine-has-been-reinvented-and-is-600-more-efficient-than-current-design/

Interesting concept!

I've experienced Venturi Effect first-hand while working in downtown Dallas. A seemingly calm day would nearly undress you as you approached the corner of a skyscraper.
 
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